Holding signs that said, “Help Me burry My Mom!! Please Donate!!,” Kendra Lachell Morris and Zachary Lacasey Sims were arrested Wednesday in Aiken on charges of soliciting without a permit and obtaining goods by false pretense. The signs were adorned with pink ribbons.
A third person involved has not been identified and is still being sought by police.
The three suspects stood on Fabian Drive and used plastic Halloween pumpkins to collect donations from motorists, Aiken police said. There were hundreds of dollars in the pumpkins.
During questioning, Morris, 21, and Sims, 20, both of Augusta, gave police different names and funeral homes for the deceased “mom” during interviews.
Investigators contacted the funeral homes and found no one there by those names. One suspect later admitted it was a scheme to help them pay their bills, according to police.
Sims and Morris were booked into the Aiken County Detention Center.
Authorities said the city of Aiken has an ordinance against solicitation without a license. The license ensures the solicitors are representing an organization or have a legitimate cause for obtaining money.